Inspiring Minds

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Submissions Open: May 1, 2024

Submissions Close: June 7, 2024

What is Inspiring Minds?

Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferrable skills.  

Inspiring Minds is a campus-wide partnership between Western Research, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Writing Support Centre, Western Libraries, Student Experience, and Western's 11 faculties.


Celebrating Graduate Student Research Excellence

Inspiring Minds receives hundreds of submissions from our Master's and Doctoral students from all 11 Faculties and affiliates across campus.



Can you clearly describe your work in 150 or fewer words?

Being able to communicate your research to broad, interdisciplinary and lay audiences -- both inside and outside academia -- is becoming an increasingly important skill for scholars of all levels.

Inspiring Minds seeks to help graduate students enhance this skill.

We are looking for you to describe your work in 150 or fewer words! Your research, scholarship or creative activity could be turned into a piece of digital artwork with your photograph, which you can keep as a memory of your graduate school experience. This non-competitive showcase highlights work by Master's and doctoral students from all 11 of Western's faculties and schools.

Who can participate?

We encourage all research-based Master's and Doctoral students from all faculties and affiliates to participate.  Graduate students who participated in past years can submit another 150 words for 2024 based on their evolving research.

Why should you participate?

Clear, concise writing is an increasingly important skill to have in your toolkit. It's a requirement for grant applications and job interviews, in academia, and in the public and private sectors. By participating in Inspiring Minds, you will refine how you communicate complex concepts, and come away with a new way to share your work. Randomly selected student submissions will be provided with an opportunity for one-on-one coaching from the Writing Support Centre.

How does it work?

  • Describe your research, scholarship or creative activity in any language in no more than 150 written words. Please avoid simply copying and pasting your abstract — try telling your story in a new way!
  • Provide your words using the "Submit Your 150" button above.
  • Twenty-six submissions will be randomly selected and provided an opportunity for one-on-one coaching from the Writing Support Centre.
  • These submissions will be made into digital artwork with your photograph provided to you and shared on Western's faculty-based social media channels.

All participating graduate students will be asked to confirm that they agree to have their work shared publicly on all of Western's print and digital communication channels.

Every submission will be reviewed and may be published as part of the Inspiring Minds Digital Collection.

In addition, 26 students will be randomly selected to have their work supported and highlighted by Western.

These 26 students will receive:

  • one-on-one support from the expert staff in the Writing Support Centre
  • custom digital artwork designed to enhance their submission
  • a professionally shot photograph of themselves
  • profile on Western's social media channels and other venues

Guiding Principles

One rule: write about your work using no more than 150 words. Be creative!

  • Describe the nature and purpose of your research, scholarship or creative activity.
  • If you decide to use a title*, please ensure it's written for the lay person. Keep it concise, interesting, and as short as possible.  Note that your title does not count toward your 150 words.
  • If appropriate, briefly describe elements of personal motivation for pursuing your work.
  • Avoid jargon and overly complex terminology or define it where necessary.

* Please note that Western reserves the right to edit submission titles for length and clarity.

Submission Guidelines

  • The submission must be uploaded in .pdf, .docx, or .rtf format.
  • On your submission document, simply include your name and your 150 words; do not include any personal identifying information such as your student number, SIN, address, phone number, etc.
  • If you are part of a collaborative research team, only include your name as the person submitting your work.
  • You may also include images or audio files with your text submission to support your work – Writing a symphony? Submit a sound bite. Curating an art project? Submit an image file. Exploring the cosmos? Submit a video clip.

Questions? Please contact Mark Wolfe.